Handling a Crush | The Process Report

Handling a Crush

To say that Chris Davis was a one-man wrecking crew against the Rays in the opening series of the season would be an understatement.  Davis went 7 for 11 in that series with 3 home runs, 11 runs driven in, and struck out just once in 13 plate appearances. That series was just a sign of things to come for the success Davis would have in 2013 and a continuation of Davis’s success against the Rays.

 

After that series, Davis owned a .337/.379/.719 slash line in 95 plate appearances. The Rays had mostly used a process of working Davis away and statistically, Davis had worked the Rays pitchers over.

strike-zone (39)

The process appears to have changed because while the rest of the league struggles wit Davis, the Rays have been able to keep his bat relatively quiet since that opening series.

These days, the Rays have taken an approach of working inside to the mammoth slugger and not allowing him to get his arms extended.

strike-zone (40)

In the 58 plate appearances since the opening series, Davis has hit .224/.335/.388 and has struck out 13 times. Historically, the Rays had used 78 percent fastballs against Davis but since the change in process, that rate has been reduced to 64 percent while the pitchers have added a heavy dose of changeups and breaking balls.

Last night, he muscled a bloop single off a pitch that completely jammed him and hit a sinking line drive to right field that was caught for an out as the team kept him mostly off-balance during the marathon game including several big outs in key moments when runners were in scoring position. The Rays have found a recipe to cool off Crush Davis and hope it can work for three more contests.

Stats and Images via ESPN Stats & Info



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